Don Green was the guitarist for one of the first punk bands in St. Louis, The Retros. When the Retros broke up - why I don't really know, except that I do know that his band mates Chuck DeClue, a bass player named Paul and the remnants of the Oui Oui Twins formed The Obvious right afterward - he ended up playing R&B and Ska with Riot Act and was damned good at it, too. Everyone agreed that Don was a freaking machine on the rhythm guitar.
Don was one of the guys who moved into the apartment upstairs from the OP-P Club with me after I opened the club. We all played guitar - Jim Saltsider, Don Green, Brian, and Paul Beasly. Shortly after they all moved in with me I came up the stairs one night and everyone was sitting on something - a mattress, an old couch, a box with a lamp on it, and playing solid body guitars of one kind or another, and the sound of fingers needling away at almost imperceptible strings was like a distant insectile buzz, so I decided to call us Don Green's Guitar Army.
Despite the fact that I was the landlord, I felt like Don was our leader, since he was the only one of us with a job.
Don dated Alissa Feinberg, the lost Oui Oui Twin, and we were pals. Long after the club closed up and I was at loose ends, mourning over the loss of a punk rock girlfriend who I should have never gone out with anyway, Don and Alissa asked me to come with them to California in Don's rebuilt Volkswagon.
I test drove the Volkswagon before we went on the road with it and noticed that the steering wheel had a quarter turn of play in it, and told Don he had to get it fixed before we drove it across country. Don refused flat out because he had just spent over three hundred dollars getting the engine rebuilt and that was a lot of money back then.
Soon after we hit the road the car started shaking violently on the highway. Somewhere outside of Springfield Missouri a high wind caught us as we were crossing an overpass going at least 60 and I smashed the car up on the median, tearing my side of the car completely off. Luckily we both walked away from the accident unharmed, but we had to take a Greyhound bus the rest of the way to Los Angeles and while Don forgave me, I'm not sure that ever really forgave me, if you know what I mean.
In my next post I'll put up some of the Don Green songs I have lying around, which would be the two cuts from After Hours that we did together right before we took off for L.A., and a few of the Hollenbeck tapes of the Retros.